"It's been a while," Ian said, staring at the prescription bottle in his hand. "Maybe I could try to go without?"
"No fucking way." Mickey shoved a glass of water into Ian's face.
It had taken months to get Ian to agree to the drugs and Mickey wasn't going to let him backtrack now. It's not like Mickey blamed Ian, though. After that first depressive episode—and shit, when did Mickey start learning fucking medical terms like that?—ended, Ian was back to normal. Like seriously, pre-military, pre-wedding from hell normal. Mickey had been sure that for once in their lives they'd dodged a bullet and Fiona was wrong about Ian.
Then one day Ian had woken him up in the middle of the night with the bright idea that they should go star gazing. The last thing Mickey wanted to do was get out of bed and go try to find a fucking star in the Chicago sky. The very idea of it was gay as hell, way gayer than him or Ian, but he'd dragged his ass out of bed anyway and stumbled along behind Ian as he chattered away about something that Mickey was way too tired to deal with.
What had followed was a week of Ian bouncing off the walls and staying out all night at the club. Mickey could barely keep up with him and the entire time he'd felt dread settling in the pit of his stomach. He'd tried to talk to Ian about going to the clinic once, but Ian had said that he felt too good to be sick.
It had taken another whole cycle of ups and downs that made Mickey's head spin before Ian was ready to listen. And even then it had taken Debbie coming over and crying to Ian about their mom when he was feeling relatively normal before he finally went to the clinic.
Mickey had gone with him. He hadn't admitted it out loud, but Fiona's words about nuthouses were still rolling around in his head and he'd been half afraid that Ian would go through the doors and never come back out again. There had been no way that Mickey would've let that happen.
Thankfully the doctor hadn't even suggested a fucking nuthouse. They'd just put Ian on a shit ton of expensive meds which had almost put an end to it then and there. Ian didn't have the money and sure as hell wasn't going to ask for it. That's when Mickey and Fiona got intimately acquainted with the new healthcare laws and got Ian some real insurance. Mickey had never spent so long in a library in his life, but it was worth it.
"I just don't feel like myself anymore," Ian muttered. He took the handful of pills that made up the latest cocktail and swallowed them. "And I can't fucking get it up with this new anti-depressant."
That was a side effect that Mickey could definitely do without, but he wasn't about to tell Ian that. "It's not that big a deal."
Ian slammed the glass down onto the night stand and gave Mickey a disbelieving look. "You can't tell me you don't care that I can't fuck you?"
Mickey shrugged. "I might like your dick up my ass, but it's not the only thing we can do."
"Oh, you mean my 'warm mouth'?" Ian asked in that dangerous tone that told Mickey he was trying for a fight. Out of all the stupid fucking shit that he'd told Ian, that was the one that kept coming back to bite him.
Mickey threw his hands up in the air. "Always with the drama. I swear you're girlier than Mandy these days."
"Fuck you," Ian yelled before letting out a bitter, humorless laugh. "Oh wait, I can't."
Mickey rolled his eyes and wondered when his life had gotten so fucking dramatic. "It may be hard to believe, but I didn't come out to my fucking father just so I wouldn't lose your fucking dick. If that's all it was I wouldn't have bothered."
Ian's shoulders slumped and he sort of deflated all at once. "Damn it, Mick. I don't want to be like Monica, but I don't want to be like this either."
Mickey sighed and sat down next to Ian, nudging their shoulders together. "The doc said you could try a different drug if that one didn't work."
"I hate going to the fucking clinic," Ian complained. "And even with insurance the co-pay sucks. Not to mention having to buy all new meds."
"We'll work out all that crap," Mickey said. "Whatever it takes."
Ian flopped back against the pillow. "I guess it's back to the club. Better money than the Kash and Grab."
"You think you can stay away from the party favors?" Mickey asked. Ian had stopped working at the club to avoid temptation and because it just wasn't his scene when he wasn't riding a manic high. "Cause you know what they do to your meds."
Neither of them were angels and the idea of avoiding drugs wasn't Ian's idea of fun, but the long list of things that could happen if Ian mixed those kinds of drugs with his meds was fucking scary. The doctors wouldn't be happy to know that he still drank too much and smoked like a chimney, but party drugs were off the table. For both Ian and Mickey because fair was fair.
"I'm going to have to aren't I?"
"Hey," Mickey said. "If you don't want to change meds we can just get a dildo or something."
Ian chuckled, the sound warmer this time. "You think that'd be enough?"
"As long as you were the person holding it."
"Aww, Mick. When did you get so romantic?"
Mickey picked up a pillow and hit Ian in the face before flopping down next to him, their arms pressed together. "Fuck off."
"When the hell did this become our lives?" Ian asked, moving his hand to cover Mickey's.
Mickey first instinct was to jerk his hand away. There were some things that were just too ingrained, but he ignored the impulse and laced their fingers together instead. He was getting a lot better at this relationship shit, but that didn't mean it came naturally to him. "What do you mean?"
"No sex, no fun drugs, endless doctor's appointments…" Ian trailed off. He turned his head to look at Mickey, his eyes serious. "I don't know why the hell you stick around. You don't have to."
Mickey squeezed Ian's hand. "I'm not going anywhere."
Ian leaned closer and pressed his lips to Mickey's. It was soft and gentle and unlike any of the kisses they normally shared. "I know."